Are you planning to travel with your pet soon? In order to insure that travelling with your pet is an enjoyable experience, make sure to put aside some time to prepare everything you and your pet will need.
Plan an indispensable visit to the veterinarian days before starting your travel. The veterinarian should update your pet’s vaccination history and, if necessary, certify your pet for travel, asking about the quarantine requirements and options for the country you are visiting. The veterinarian will also be able to inform you about endemic illnesses in your destination country and any obligatory vaccinations.
The veterinarian will also recommend whether or not your pet needs sedation during his travels. If they believe sedation is necessary, they will recommend an amount depending on the duration of travel and the habitual behaviour of your pet (nervous/calm, puppy/adult, etc.).
We recommend not giving water or food to your pet for 4 hours before starting a short trip (2-4 hrs) and 8 hours before starting a long trip (5-9 hrs). This helps avoid vomiting or defecating inside the kennel, which would be uncomfortable for your pet during the remainder of their trip.
You should also worm your pet against fleas, ticks and Phlebotomus before starting the trip. Phlebotomus are small mosquitoes that live mostly in Mediterranean countries and Latin America. They can transmit leishmaniosis, a potentially lethal disease for your animal.
If you have not yet obtained identification for your pet, this would be a good time to implant an identification chip. This unique method is the most secure way to find your pet and, in addition, is obligatory in the European Community.
Just like the rest of the family, your pet needs his luggage prepared before leaving. We mustn’t forget his food, bowls, hairbrush, soap, toys, collar and leash. Also be sure to include a muzzle if it is required in any of the places you will be travelling.
Obligatory for foreign travel: EUROPEAN COMMUNITY PASSPORT FOR PETS
Dogs and cats will be able to travel within the European Community as long as they meet certain requirements.
The European Community Commission has established a passport model which allows a person to travel with dogs and cats between the countries in the European Community. This passport is indispensable if you want to leave the EU and re-enter.
This passport does not in any way replace a Vaccination History. You only need to have a passport for those animals you are going to travel with and only need to obtain it once for each animal. Each section of the passport needs to be updated before starting a new trip.
The vaccination section of the passport must be filled out by a veterinarian. Whether or not a rabies vaccination (or any other obligatory vaccinations or treatments) has been given should be included. What vaccinations or treatments are necessary for the pet will depend on the countries that the animal will be travelling. The veterinarian may also want to include in this section other non-obligatory vaccinations the animal has been given and the animal’s medical history.
Animals that are less than 3 months old need to have a serologic test in order to acquire a passport. The price of this animal accreditation depends on the country. The accreditation is performed by veterinarians. The veterinarian is also responsible for taking care of the administrative paperwork.
We recommend that before you start your travels; ask the consulate of your destination country or the air company you are going to fly with about any animal travel requirements. It is necessary to be informed because some countries have much stricter requirements than others. For example, in the United Kingdom, Ireland or Sweden, they require a check for antibody rabies, done only by special laboratories, sometimes even before you start your travels.